24 December 1953 - 29 March 2017
Today is for my dear friend Gert Roos.
I am honoured to have had the friendship of this beautiful man for 33 years.
Gert is being laid to rest today in Bloemdaal (Holland)
Peace be with you and with your family,
especially Marga, Guus and Hanna
and all your friends.
|poem by Lao Tse|
on Gert's card
|Drawing made in memory of Gert by SNAB|
I met Gert in 1984 when we both started working at a newly establised group home for people with leanring difficulties, then called 'Het Wad', in Haarlem (Holland). Our close connection was quickly established, and never faded. Even though I left Holland five years later.
We remained in touch via letters, phone calls, and visits at their house or here in Ireland. But there was also a connecting which did not need normal forms of communication. A spiritual connection.
Which I feel is still here, even after his untimely passing last week.
For the last visit I had gathered some images of the time we worked together. These always made us laugh. There are so many stories. They bring a smile to my face even when I write on this sad day.
And yet my heart is crying. That same day we shared the sadness of his ailing health. A mixed bag of emotions.
Since that last visit we stayed in touch via the phone, and via many messages, sharing funny memories, beautiful memories, music we like at this moment, photographs, stories, sadness, heartbreak, encouragements, understanding and gratitude.
I am so pleased that Gert decided to ring me on my birthday, 19 days before he passed away. I had not heard his voice for a few months. I am glad that he rang when he did, as I was almost out the door for my hospital appointment. I would have missed his call.
For the past while, but especially since the news of his passing last week, a piece of music, a word on the radio, an add on the telly, a plant on my garden,... all bring stories in my mind of the friendship we shared.
Today Mariela and I will be at the funeral, but here in Ireland. We will go to the cathedral, which I know had a special place in Gert's heart, and celebrate his life well lived during a lunch afterwards.
MEme, my little penguin will be my 'aide-de-camp'. My brother Hans, and friend Christine will be at the funeral in Holland too.
A sad day.
But I am grateful to have had his companisonship, his guidance, his frienships, support, encouragement and love for all those years.